Secret Services Are Interested in Belarusian Student Association
At 11.30 a.m., before classes at the Agricultural department of Belarusian State Agricultural University, vice-dean of the department came up to the member of the BSA Board Siarhey Semianiuk and said he wanted to talk with him about missing of classes and possible consequences. However, when they entered the dean’s office, the vice-dean showed Siarhey two persons in plain clothes, who wanted to talk to him. They didn’t introduce themselves, only said they were KGB workers.
They immediately started to ask the student questions about the latest BSA activities. They were mostly interested in the human rights campaign of BSA “Open students’ forum Thoughts aloud”. Within the framework of this campaign on 22 April there will be held a free rock-concert and in May – an international conference on students’ rights. They asked him about the organization authorities and foreign partners, asked to call the persons and the countries with whom BSA cooperated. One of the workers said that his aim was to make Siarhey tell everything. The student, however, either refused to answer the questions of the strangers or answered with jokes.
Siarhey thinks it was an attempt of secret services to influence his public activity and BSA activities in general. At present Siarhey Semianiuk works at the BSA board and is one of its regional coordinators. He also leads the campaign on improvement of conditions at student dormitories.
It is not the only attempt to pressurize BSA members, taken by secret services and administrations of higher educational establishments. For instance, heads of regional branches of BSA are summoned to deans’ offices and warned about sanctions for public activity. The edition “Tankisty (“Tank-men”) with the circulation of 299 copies that is issued by a BSA branch at Belarusian State Pedagogical University was considered by representatives of administrations of higher educational establishments at the seminar on ideologization, held in Minsk. A participant of the seminar, who didn’t want his name officially mentioned, told that there was a special section who discussed the BSA activity and measures to pressurize the organization.
In connection with these events the BSA Board states it will continue its struggle for the rights of its members and other students despite any threats, persecution and bold accusations. It won’t leave a single student without help in the case of unfair treatment by the administration of his/her educational establishment and other bodies.
Additional information can be received on the following telephones:
8 029 685 52 39 – mobile phone of Siarhey Semianiuk
8 029 653 05 95 – mobile phone of the head of the BSA Board Volha Kuzmich
BSA press service
Minsk, Darashevich Street, 4-2
Telephone/fax (017) 2322743
Belarusian Student Association is a national student organization. In 1992 it was registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus as “Republican youth association “Belarusian Student Association”. On 2 December 2001 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus deprived BSA of registration for active campaigns on social problems of students (distribution to working places, small scholarships, old textbooks, lack of places at dormitories, etc.) and the mobilization campaign. The court paid not attention to the insufficiency of the arguments, presented by the Ministry of Justice, for liquidation of the organization and didn’t listen to statements of more than 30 European student and human rights organizations.